So you’ve arrived at your accommodation and you’re ready to take on the new semester, but what is there to do besides university? Naturally students will meet new people, form new friendships and become part of new social groups; but where could you explore? The city itself is wonderful and if you’re new to Brisbane, exploring the city will come naturally to you; however if you want to go further and explore the landscape around Brisbane there are many options. There are many interesting and beautiful environments to explore in and around Brisbane; areas like Noosa and Lake Wivenhoe for example. However I will be writing about North Stradbroke Island.
“Straddie” Island (as nicknamed by the locals) traditionally known as Minjerribah, can be accessed by taking a ferry from Cleveland (on the mainland) to the dock at Dunwich (on Stradbroke Island); ferries run hourly between 4:55am and 7:25pm, with a break between 1:55pm and 3:25pm. Stradbroke Ferries run the car ferry and a water taxi service while Gold Cats run another water taxi called the Stradbroke Flyer. If you don’t have a car to get to Cleveland the best way to get there is to catch the train; you need to make sure you’re going eastbound on the Cleveland Line and remain on the train until the final stop. The Cleveland line passes through many major destinations such as Fortitude Valley if you live near the CBD, South Bank if you’re based around Queensland College of Art campus and also Wynnum and Manly. You will need your GoCard and I recommend going on a weekend once you have made 9 journeys throughout the week on your student GoCard; as this will give you free journeys on buses and trains until the end of the week. However you will need about $20 for the ferry and $9 for a bus ticket on Straddie. I’d advise you make note of the last bus to Dunwich from Point Lookout because the last bus doesn’t match up with the last ferry and so you may have to fork out unnecessary dollars to catch a cab.
So now the boring informational stuff is out of the way, you’re free to enjoy the island; and here are some photos I took that might persuade you to go there and check it out…
When you arrive at North Stradbroke Island there are two main areas you can go to, Amity Point and Point Lookout. When I visited I only went to Point Lookout, however I traveled with a large group and we split up and some also went to Amity Point; we collectively agreed that both were awesome but it entirely depends on what you want to do. Point Lookout had a wonderfully sublime gorge where you could really feel its natural power; I was awe-struck and it was definitely for people who want to sight see and make a connection with Australia’s amazingly diverse geography. It was an area to relax and to also venture off and walk across an almost empty beach for miles and miles.
Of course there are many activities that you can do; and a simple internet search will enable you to view and book for example kayaking experiences and many other interesting activities. The island has flexibility and because it’s a fairly cheap overall experience, it means you can visit again and again and escape the pressures and workload of university; even if it’s just for one day.
If you’ve been to Straddie let us know your favourite spot in the comments.